Video Editing Hibernation

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by Clara Lieu

Although I’m now fairly proficient with using Premiere to edit video, I’m still learning more every day about the editing process.  I’m constantly looking for ways to make my editing process more efficient, but it’s still a rocky process at times, with occasional moments of panic that can be pretty stressful.

However, as challenging as the process is, learning how to shoot and edit video has been really exciting. It’s been really interesting for me to compare how completely different the process is compared to drawing/printmaking/sculpture. Not only are the materials incredibly different, but the entire mindset and work rhythms are in great contrast to what I’m used to.  For example, I’m accustomed to having only about 40% of what I create actually get used and exhibited in a public setting. The concept of not using everything I create, and throwing out pieces that took hours of labor is not foreign.  However, I was not prepared for how much more dramatic this would process would be in terms of video. I feel like with video, only about 5% of what I create actually ends up in the finished product.

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Putting together our sizzle reel to announce the upcoming site launch took a painful amount of time for a video that is only 1:30 minutes long. I spent two afternoons outside of our studio shooting B roll clips with various artists that amounted to about 10 hours total. In the end, only about 15 seconds of those 10 hours ended up in the sizzle reel.

When editing the tutorials, I feel like I’m lopping off heads left and right.  I do several passes of editing because each time I watch the footage, I see something different. A video that began as a 10 minutes long, gets whittled down to 7 minutes, then 5 minutes, and then 3 minutes.  I’m hoping that in the future my first pass of editing will be more vicious, but I’m amazed at how difficult it is to judge your own content and ask yourself, “do I REALLY need this clip?” Boiling the videos now to the barest essentials is so challenging, and I’ve had to make some tough decisions about what is truly critical to get across. People have such short attention spans today, and I know that if I ramble off about something I will lose them.  I would rather teach a short lesson that gets people to truly grasp a simple, fundamental idea really well, than have them watch a tutorial that is overly full of detail to the point that they end up tuning out.

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On top of that, there are so many details to this process that it’s hard for me to even keep them straight.  I had absolutely no clue that file storage was going to become such a huge issue. With the vast quantity of video we are shooting,  I had a bit of scare this week because my laptop started crashing really often.  My laptop was getting too full and we had to buy several new drives and compulsively back everything up in several places to be sure that nothing would be lost. Things got so bad that I actually spent 2 whole days just organizing, renaming, and copying files.  I can’t think of a task that is more boring and tedious, but it was critical to do.  The thought of losing everything was enough to scare me into doing it!

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ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts which provides equal access to art education for people of all ages and means.

Be notified of our early 2017 site launch by subscribing to our email list.

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Portfolio Video Critiques for Art Students & Artists
Prof Clara Lieu offers 30 minute video critiques on 8-20 artworks for students working on a portfolio for art school admission, and for artists of any age working on their artwork. Watch a sample below, and get more info here.


ART DARES
Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories, and post select submissions on our Instagram  and other sites throughout the month. Use #artprofwip and Prof Clara Lieu might just stop by and give you some feedback! We have a special prize for art teachers who assign the Art Dare to one of their classes. More info is here.


Ask the Art Prof Live was a weekly live video broadcast on our Facebook page where Prof Clara Lieu provided professional advice for art students and professional artists. Ask the Art Prof began as a written column in 2013 and was featured in the Huffington Post from 2013-2015.  See the full archive of columns here. Prof Lieu discussed being an artist today, art technique & materials, work strategies for artists, career advice, teaching art, and more.

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Super Busy Bees at Art Prof

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by Clara Lieu

Things here at Art Prof may have seemed fairly quiet on the blog recently, but on the contrary, our work flow is seriously heating up for our upcoming site launch.  This past weekend we had a four day marathon of shooting video content with myself along with TAs Annie Irwin, Yves-Olivier Mandereau, Casey Roonan, and Lauryn Welch. We stocked up on what will be several months of video content, while I transition to video editing hibernation for the next several weeks.

The TAs and I created a wide range of video content for the new website this past weekend:  bio videos for each staff member, intro videos for each section of the site, Q&Art videos which are spontaneous round table discussions on various art related topics, and Crit Trios where three of our staff critique a single artwork.

One aspect of the production process that we’ve realized is that despite the fact that being on set feels messy and disorganized at times,  (let’s just say that we will have more than enough content for blooper reels) it’s truly incredible the way the content is dramatically transformed in the editing process. What can at times feel like a stream of mistakes can turn into a slick, polished video in the end.

What’s very exciting is how diverse the video content has become.  Even just 6 months ago, we were relying heavily on stills to fill in the gaps in our videos.  Now, we have left our “Ken Burns” stills behind and have gone all out to video. Of course, that’s about ten times more work, and much more complicated, but wow, the results are totally worth it. I’ve also been surprising myself by the sometimes ridiculous situations I have put myself into for the sake of getting the right footage.  At one point, I found myself carrying all of the lighting equipment, cameras, my laptop and more on my back, as I walked up what must have been a 45 degree hill in the middle of a fierce winter blizzard.  One thing I’ve learned about being an artist:  when you’re truly passionate and believe in your project, you’ll do ANYTHING to make it happen.

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ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts which provides equal access to art education for people of all ages and means.

Be notified of our early 2017 site launch by subscribing to our email list.

subscribe


FB  Youtube   tumblr   Pinterest   LinkedIn   Instagram   Twitter   snap_chat  email  etsy


Portfolio Video Critiques for Art Students & Artists
Prof Clara Lieu offers 30 minute video critiques on 8-20 artworks for students working on a portfolio for art school admission, and for artists of any age working on their artwork. Watch a sample below, and get more info here.


ART DARES
Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories, and post select submissions on our Instagram  and other sites throughout the month. Use #artprofwip and Prof Clara Lieu might just stop by and give you some feedback! We have a special prize for art teachers who assign the Art Dare to one of their classes. More info is here.


Ask the Art Prof Live was a weekly live video broadcast on our Facebook page where Prof Clara Lieu provided professional advice for art students and professional artists. Ask the Art Prof began as a written column in 2013 and was featured in the Huffington Post from 2013-2015.  See the full archive of columns here. Prof Lieu discussed being an artist today, art technique & materials, work strategies for artists, career advice, teaching art, and more.

A mission statement

I’ve been thinking lately about what exactly it is that I’m trying to do with my book, my series of videos, “Ask the Art Professor”, and my blog in general.  I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what has been driving me to do all of this writing and documentation on top of my studio practice.  From what I’ve experienced, it’s highly unusual for a fine artist to share so much about the highs and lows of their creative process publicly. Most professional fine artists I know tend to be secretive about how they work and don’t publicly display the ugly side of being an artist.  When I go to artist lectures, they’re always about the successes, highlighting only what worked and the awards that were won.  The majority of artists never publicly address the struggles, the blood, sweat and tears that it took to get there.

Essentially I came up with a mission statement for myself.  In addition to my studio practice, I’m trying to demystify and explain the actual process of being a fine artist to a broader audience.  There are so many annoying myths about what it means to be an artist that are just not true:  that you have to get lucky and be talented, that you have to wait for inspiration to strike, that artists are irresponsible, weird, and lazy. The reality is that being an artist is none of those things, and it’s that reality that I’m interested in portraying through my writing and various forms of media.

Thursday Spotlight: Andrew Orloski

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Tell us about your background.

I was born in West Palm Beach, Florida but am a native Pennsylvanian who found his way to Boston in the Fall of 2011. I have received a BFA in Sculpture with a minor in Philosophy from Millersville University in Pennsylvania and have participated in Virginia Commonwealth Universities Summer Intensive Studio session focusing mainly on the intersection of performance, video and object making.

Name some people, artists, artistic genres, etc. that have been influential in your
work.

When I first started working sculpturally I was very drawn to process oriented and site-specific artists whose work would hold deep psychological and philosophical meanings. Richard Serra, Rachel Whiteread, James Turrell and Do Ho Suh all come to mind. Pieces such as Turrell’s “Meeting” at PS1, Rachel Whiteread’s “ Nine Tables” and Do Ho Suh’s “Seoul Home / New York Home” all have a special place in my vocabulary. What these artists have in common is the exploration of the concept of space, and how that relationally affects us. I was very drawn to that. I began to think more of how not only space affects me, but what happens when time intersects these very complex ideas.

After attending the VCU summer seminar I was introduced to a few very influential people, namely performance artist Nigel Rolfe and sculptor Janine Harkleroad, who’s regular studio visits, critiques and reading lists turned my idea of sculpture on its head. I was suddenly making work that was thoroughly different from past work, breaking into the realm of performance and video. Books such as “Relational Aesthetics” by Nicolas Bourriaud, “Psychogeography” by Merlin Coverley, “Liquid Times” by Zygmunt Bauman and “Air Guitar” by Dave Hickey are all readings that ignited this departure.

I cannot leave Bruce Nauman and Martin Heidegger out of this section, being as they are two of the greatest influences in my current investigations.

Where and how do you get your ideas?

My ideas come from many different parts of my life, as I have many hobbies that I can barely keep up with. I play guitar, am constantly cooking, brew my own beer, play sports and recently have taken up long distance running. I have found it to be one of the greatest philosophical pursuits I have ever encountered. When I run I am quite literally defining my existence at that given moment in time and space by tracking each individual step and leaving behind tracks of my physicality. My recent work is exploring the notion of “Being-There”, a concept from Martin Heidegger. When you run a marathon, for instance, your body becomes almost blank, machine-like, while your mind is working at double time. You focus on breathing, steps, muscle failures, strides, past, present and future. You realize where you started but also realize you are no longer there. You understand there is a finish and it is a fathomable thing, but since the future may not necessarily exist, how can the finish line also? It is a classic philosophical example. How is it possible that if you understand what the words “golden” and “mountain” mean, that you can make up in your mind the idea of a “golden mountain”? This is profoundly interesting to me. I think a lot about how these things define my “Being.”

I have also done an extensive amount of traveling since finishing my undergrad and I can’t help but think that being in and experiencing a lot of various places has a lot to do with where these ideas and concepts come from as well. My most recent explorations, such as an ongoing performance “Where-I-Am”, are addressing these themes. How an action performed at different places in different times challenges the ideas of time, place, space and familiarity.

I try my best to stay well versed in contemporary art and philosophy and pull as much influence from my surroundings as possible as well. I am fascinated by everyday normal actions and experiences, mundane or extraordinary.

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What materials do you work with? Describe your technical processes.

I have run the gamut in various materials including bronze, wax, plaster, clay, wood, paper, etc. Recently I have become more interested in video and performance, which usually result in installation based work.

My technical process has changed somewhat over the years. For a while I was working quite stubbornly, thinking way to extensively about material language and whether my choice for certain objects were valid. Recently I have been much more susceptible to failure in my work. I will do a lot of tests, shoot little snippets of video, make something and then destroy it, etc. Do something common and try to figure out if it has some sort of grandeur. At the end of these tests I contemplate what I have done and how it actually becomes work. It is just like keeping a sketchbook to me, for instance my fingers are moving in space typing this sentence just as a pencil draws a line, both are documentations but with different outcomes. Since I am so interested in gestures of the body, I draw a lot of inspiration from my own body quos, such as banging my head up against a wall, or a simple snap of the finger.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of being creative? What is the
best part of being creative?

The best part of being creative is having an active mind and living in a constant state of contemplation. Funny enough, I find that this is also the most challenging part. Sometimes it is easy to over think things, like why simple gestures like a handclap can suddenly become a stand-in for existential philosophy. But the journey and pursuit of knowledge is extremely exciting to me. This is why I make things, because idea becomes form.

What advice would you give to someone seeking advice about being an artist? 

Art is visual philosophy; there are no limits in creation. In art 2+2 can very well equal 5 and that is exciting. Do not limit yourself to what you can do. Explore different mediums and ideas, read as much theory as you can. Visit museums and galleries because without a sense of what is going on from your contemporaries it will be like living in a vacuum. Give your eyes something to taste. Set yourself up for failure and find solitude in the act of creation and not the final outcome, it is here where most of your work may lie.

Nigel Rolfe once told me to stop making work from my brain and start making work from my gut. This is probably the most influential thing I have ever had said to me to this day regarding my work. Perhaps you can think about that one a little as well.

Andrew’s website


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages to learn visual arts in a vibrant art community. Imagine all of the resources here on our blog, except exponentially bigger, in greater quantity, and in more detail. Our Kickstarter campaign hit its $30k goal on July 19!  Get info on our future launch by subscribing to our email list.

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Connections

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I’ve been making progress researching possibilities for fabrics to project images on.  I talked to the museum preparator at the Davis Museum and he referred me to someone who professionally installs artwork, who then asked someone who works in the event production industry.  I feel lucky that I was able to find this information through a series of connections.

The final recommendation I got for a scrim was Sharkstooth scrim. Someone else also commented in a recent blog post to think about silk, so I researched some more and stumbled upon this piece above by artist Ann Hamilton. I then found this silk fabric that is used for projection as well.

I’m also thinking about what to do with the projection, I made this video a ways back experimenting with fades, but what I don’t like about it is it makes the video seem more like a slideshow, which I really want to avoid.  I’m going to play around and see if I can come up with something that will be more compelling.

Thursday Spotlight: Daniel Sousa

Tell us about your background.

I was born in Cape Verde and grew up in Portugal, just outside Lisbon. My family came to the States in 1986. I studied at RISD, where I focused on illustration, painting, and animation. After graduation, I spent a few years in Boston, working at Olive Jar studios, where I animated and directed a variety of projects, mostly TV commercials.
I’ve been in Providence, RI, since 2001, and I split my time between teaching, freelance work, and personal work.

Name some people, artists, artistic genres, etc. that have been influential in your work.

I think for the most part I’m always trying to describe a very internal and private world. By reaching for that kind of specificity, I believe that I can connect with people on a more universal level. I gravitate towards work that achieves that kind of universal connection, or resonance. For that reason, I think nothing inspires me more than music, which can be so visceral. I grew up on British post-punk music, like the Smiths, Joy Division, Bauhaus, and I still feel a very strong emotional connection to that music. Unfortunately, I can’t play any instruments, so I try to achieve an equivalent emotional result through animation. I am also inspired by painting and other films, but not nearly as much. In terms of animation, I was very influenced by Russian and Eastern European animators like Norstein, Svankmajer, Kucia, Dumala, Kovalyov. Closer to home, I greatly admire the work of Steven Subotnick, Amy Kravitz, and Flip Johnson. Also, I owe a great debt to the poetry and film language of Andrei Tarkovsky.

In addition, I have been informed by painters like Velasquez, Inness, Freud, and more recently, Anselm Kiefer and Cai Guo-Qiang.

And then there’s just the world around me, everyday life. I think how you filter the infinity of information that surrounds you is what defines you as an artist.

Where and how do you get your ideas?

Thematically, I try to draw from cultural archetypes, mythology and fairy tales, as well as my own subconscious and childhood memories.

What materials do you work with? Describe your technical processes.

It really depends on the project and the kind of graphic universe that it inhabits. Minotaur was a stop-motion film, so I used a variety of materials, including wood, wire, plastic, and paper. Fable was a more traditional 2-D film, so I worked on paper and then scanned the drawings into After Effects and composited digitally.
For my new film Feral, I roughed out the animation in Flash, then printed each frame onto paper and re-traced each drawing with pencil. The drawings were then re-scanned and composited. The backgrounds are usually acrylic on paper.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of being creative?

Consistency. Good ideas come and go, and sometimes you have to work through a lot of bad ideas to get to a good one. But if you don’t do that you may never find that one good idea you were looking for. So discipline and faith in the process is really important.

What is the best part of being creative?

When you get into a groove where everything just flows and time stands still. Doubt goes away, and you’re just present with the work. Those moments are rare but they make up for everything else.

What advice would you give to someone seeking advice about being an artist?

Being an artist means something different to each person. What works for one artist may not work for another. So you have to be true to yourself and follow your own vision. Don’t be discouraged or frustrated by setbacks, but work through them to keep improving your technical and conceptual skills. It’s a lifelong quest, not something you master in a couple of years.

Daniel’s website
Daniel on Vimeo
Daniel’s Blog

Want to be featured on Thursday Spotlight?  Get information on how to submit your work here.


Thursday Spotlight: Paul Falcone

Tell us about your background.

My parents were both artists. My father ( Dominic Falcone ) a poet, my mother ( Yvonne Andersen ) a painter. I was nearly born in the Provincetown art gallery they ran because of a snowstorm. My mother got interested in filmaking and animation and incorporated them into the children’s art classes she was already teaching. So I grew up in a very artistic background and I’ve been making movies since I was 6.

Name some people, artists, artistic genres, etc. that have been influential in your work.

It’s hard to narrow down my influences. I’ve always loved fantasy but I can really get into a serious documentary as well. Some of my filmaking heroes would be Joss Whedon, Robert Rodriguez, Christopher Nolan. I’ve always loved comics and once considered becoming a comic artist.

Where and how do you get your ideas?

I just finished editing the feature film “The Final Shift”. For many scenes I was editing the music at the same time as the picture. Often when I am stuck on how to edit a project I will play music that reminds me of what I’m working on, and that will give me a direction. Since I shoot a lot of mini-docs and events I try to stay open to whatever is going on at the location and make use of it. When I interview people I try to keep it conversational and follow things where they want to go. Intuition is a big part of being an artist in any art.

What materials do you work with? Describe your technical process.

My main camera is a Canon 5D mark II. It shoots great video and stills. I edit on Final Cut Pro. I’m very lucky to be living in a time when a low budget filmaker has such professional tools to work with.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of being creative? What is the best part of being creative?

The most challenging part is to finish what I started after the initial enthusiasm has waned. Having assignments helps with that, but I have a bunch of unfinished scripts sitting in my computer. It’s great to be on a roll when your’e working on a project. I sometimes work through the night until I can barely keep my eyes open. That’s when it’s great to have a home office.

What advice would you give to someone seeking advice about being an artist?

My favorite quote is from the screenwriting teacher Syd Field. In referring to writing interesting characters he said “Character is action” meaning don’t have your characters say who they are, have them do what they are. The same is true for life. If you are an artist make art. It’s great and necessary to view other peoples work but you must make it yourself on a continuing basis to grow. I’m also a believer in the ten thousand hour rule. To master any craft you must spend ten thousand hours doing it.

Paul’s videos on blip
Paul’s videos on Youtube
Paul’s documentary on Clara Lieu